On 23 July, this coming Sunday our Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly, the third such day since it was established by Pope Francis in 2021. It is observed each year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.
Announcing the theme Pope Francis said,
The World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is meant to be a small but precious sign of hope for them and the whole Church. I renew my invitation to everyone – dioceses, parishes, associations and communities – to celebrate this Day and to make it the occasion of a joyful and renewed encounter between young and old.
The theme was chosen to coincide with world youth day in Lisbon where the theme will be ‘Mary arose and went with haste’. In choosing the last line of the Magnificat as the theme for the Day of Prayer for Grandparents, ‘His Mercy is From Age to Age’, Pope Francis links these two important events of the year and his desire for inter-generational dialogue.
Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to all the faithful on this day of prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly. The announcement was made through a Decree issued today by the Apostolic Penitentiary, stating that the Plenary Indulgence is granted “under the usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to grandparents, the elderly and all the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity, will participate in the solemn celebration that the Holy Father Francis will preside over in the Vatican Papal Basilica, or in the various functions that will be held throughout the world.
Bishop David will lead a pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday 23 July for the World Day for Grandparents and the. Elderly. All are welcome.